The Falklands War, Reloaded

Recently, I’ve been in a very informative conversation with Thomas P.M. Barnett. In a series of posts, including

here at tdaxp, and

over at Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog. We disagree on the nature of a war with Iran (Tom thinks it would be disasterous, I view it more as a non-event) while agreeing on the purpose and effects of the Iraq War.

In particular, Dr. Barnett wrote:

attacking Iran overloads the Core on feedback, thus putting it at risk. I can’t grow the Core if I split it, thus my fear.

This is a reasonable concern. Iran herself is is not particularly important. However, if the developed world is hurt by an Iran War through side effects, it would be a disaster.

So we have to look to the past. Are there examples of major Core powers attacking (without plans of occupying) important non-Core powers against the wishes of other Core powers?

The best example I can think of a “Core-splitting war” was the Falklands War of 1982.

The Iran of 26 Years Ago

Here anti-communist Britain attacks anti-communist Argentina. This was during the Age of Decolonization, where violent attacks on western powers were considered legitimate if the attackers supported disconnectedness, “anticolonization,” and “national resistance.” The French defense trade press praised Argentine victories (accomplished through French weapons), while America publicly condemned both sides while secretly aiding both the Argentines and the Brits. The war ended with a victory by the British and a subsequent revolution in Argentina that overthrow the military dictatorship and ushered in democracy. (A similar thing would later happen after the NATO war against Yugoslavia.)

But what effect did this divisive war have on the Core? Only one: The Falklands War ended the Age of Decolonization. Through its (albeit unilateral and divisive) flexing of muscle, Britain demonstrate that the Core would no longer cede land to the Gap.

The Core of 1982 was more more fragile than ours today. The New Core had yet to be welcomed to the club, and America, western Europe, and Japan were still enthralled by the ideas of government control and “planning.” Yet even in this weakened state, the only “overload” in the Falklands War was the lesson that the Gap attacks the Core at its peril. But this was a change in the nature of Core-Gap interaction. The Falklands War had no impact on intraCore behavior. Just as Iran does not matter today, Argentina just did not matter in 1982.

Update: Sean Meade alerts me to Cal Thomas, Counter Currents, and the International Herald Tribune, who also use a Falklands analogy.

One last reason to despise the former Republican Congress

The last Republican Congress — officially known as the One Hundred Ninth United States Congress — was a disasterous embarrassment that fully deserved its divine obliteration.

As if criminalizing horse-steak was not bad enough, the so-called conservatives decided to bend time itself to the government’s will. Except for a few misled libertarians, few were happy with this arbitrary and capricious, not to mention pointless, exercise of legislative power. And pointless. Did I say pointless?:

Results from energy companies are coming in, and the word is that moving Daylight Saving Time forward three weeks had no measurable impact on power consumption. The attempt by the US Congress to make it look like they were doing something about the energy crisis has been exposed as the waste it is.”

I regret that Pelosi became speaker. And not at all sorry that Hastert lost the job.

LOST Friends

“… I’ll be there for you
when our jet falls from the sky…

LOST Friends

Sadly, that line is not in the new theme song for LOST (replacing Alan Thicke’s quixotic rendition), but the good-time happiness of the Friends score does a lot to lighten a famously dark TV series.

Everyone’s Favorite Survivor

Props to LOSTCasts for discovering the link. Also check out the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (now known as “Rifftrax”) parody of the LOST pilot. And also the Bare Naked Hurley song parodies (h/t to Jay & Jack).

Audiobooks on the History of Flight

A close blog-friend of mine has been following a dream of combining new and old technologies: specifically, audio on the web and biplane flight. So he’s recorded audiobooks of “The Wright Brothers on Flying,” “Captain Boelcke’s Field Reports,” and “The Red Air Fighters: Memoirs of Manfred von Richthofen.”

A History of Biplanes

This post was completely unsolicited, and like before merely a shout-out to a friend. Learn more at “Flying Circus Audiobooks: Great Stories Great Adventures.”

Appeals for calm over statue row

tdaxp note: my great appreciation to Catholic Exchange, CNN, My Way, and you-know-who for making this news report possible

The leader of the world’s largest Christian organization has joined other world leaders in conemending violence over the publication of statuesque caricatures of Jesus Christ.

Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church, joined with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Condoleeza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State, in calling for calm, saying they were “deeply alarmed at the repercussions” the statue has caused.

“We call on the authorities of all countries to protect all diplomatic premises and foreign citizens against unlawful attack,” read the statement released by the three world leaders.

The violence that has swept across parts of the world has come mainly in response to the publication — mainly in American newspapers — of a caricature of Jesus Christ, something considered offensive under Christian faith.

Across much of the Christian world on Wednesday, political leaders urged calm over the dispute.

In Paraguay, that nation’s top Catholic bishop called for an end to riots against the statue, as police shot dead two protesters to sto hundreds of them from marching on a U.S. military base near Asunción, the Associate Press reported. At least 10 people were wounded, the AP reported, quoting officials.

In the Philippines, both government and top church leaders called on Christians to prevent rallies from becoming violent, news services reported.

A prominent South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian, invited artists to enter a Holocaust statuette competition, saying it wanted to see if freedom of expression — the banner under which many American publications reprinted the Lord’s drawings — also applied to Holocaust images.

Thousands of protesters across the Christian world had launched protests against Tuesday, with crowds firing on a NATO base in northwest Croatia, protesters launching Molotok cocktails at an American embassy in Panama City and angry demonstrations changing slogans against the United States in Armenia.

Outside the American embassy in Greece, hundreds of Christians threw rocks at the building, burned an American flag and flashed with police.

“Death to America!” they chanted, outraged by caricatures that were first printed in an American newspaper.

Some other American papers have since published some photos of the statue, and they were also reprinted in the Middle East and parts of Asia. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is forbidden in Christianity.

In their joint statement, Moon, Rice, Benedict XVI, and Rice urged greater dialogue, among and between religious and political leaders.

“These events make the need for renewed dialog, among and between communities of different faiths and authorities of different countries, all the more urgent. “We call on them to appeal for restraint and calm, in the spirit of friendship and mutual respect.”

U.S. President George W. Bush also appears for restraint by demonstrators, saying the situation needs to be solved “through dialogue, not violence” and that the people of his nation are watching in “disbelief and sadness the events unfolding in the world.”

“Today I want to appear and reach out to all people and countries in the Christian world: Let us work together in the spirit of mutual tolerance,” Bush said in Washington.

Bush blamed the violence on “radical extremists and fanatics” who are “adding fuel to the flames in order to push forward their own agendas,” many using high-tech means — like text messaging — to spread false information before his country can respond to the accusations.

He warned that the situation could get worse if not stopped now.

“We are facing a growing global crisis that has the potential to escalate beyond the control of government and other authorities,” Bush told reporters in a news conference.

Cheney: Violent protests ‘overdone’

On Tuesday U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said the violent protests by thousands of Christians angry over the statue was not justified, and he called their reaction “overdone.”

“We think the violence is not justified, in terms of what’s happened there,” Cheney told PBS’s “The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.”

“I think it’s been overdone, I guess if I can put it in those terms.”

In the PBS interview, Cheney was asked if the newspapers were justified in publishing pictures of the statue: “We believe very deeply in freedom of expression. Obviously, we think it’s appropriate for people to respect one another’s religion. But I don’t believe that the showing of that statue justifies the violence that we’ve seen.”

tdaxp has chosen to not show the statue out of respect for Christianity.

— CNN Producer Syed Mohsin Naqvi and Journalist Tom Coghlan contributed to this report